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Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Valatar posted:

Shadowrun did a better job of it They basically left it at 'hosed up poo poo makes the astral plane hosed up in that area and dangerous spirits are more likely to hang out there'. They did specifically mention concentration camps when giving examples of more warped areas, but never went around naming real life mass murderers and trying to tie them into the game setting.

I love Shadowrun to death, but I feel like I can't just let this pass. I did a bit of backstory research for a polish shadowrunner I was writing, and....

Shadowrun 4e: WAR! posted:

Deep within the bowels of Auschwitz II during WWII, Dr. Eduard Wirths conducted and supervised thousands of odd experiments on the human body. He tested mustard gas on innocents. He mutilated twins. He held people in tanks of ice water for hours or until dead. He exposed prisoners to malaria. He forced them to drink seawater. One particular implement from his experiments, a rusted old scalpel, was left in the labs. Over many years, it was energized by the various ghosts passing by it, feeding on their death energies. At this point, it’s taken on a life of its own[...]

And they give stats for it, like it's a magic weapon.

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Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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LatwPIAT posted:

  • Go Kamisori Gama, hypertech ninjas

:raise: Grey Fox is a MtA character?

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Fossilized Rappy posted:

Stop up Excretion (put someone's feces in a bottle and hide it in a tree, and they'll suffer constipation until they die from bowel backup in a week if they don't receive surgery or have their poop jar destroyed)

:gonk: Well that's horrible.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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gradenko_2000 posted:

Spheres of Power

Glad to see you've picked this back up!

Fate is a bit odd, and I agree that it reads more as a 'Generic-Cleric Power' sphere (With Open/Close tacked onto it for some reason?) rather than affecting probability/fate. "Tug Fate' is the only effect that seems in that theme, and it's bad, so.

The Consecration effects are the most interesting, to my mind, one, because it lets you be a Magebard that provides an aura of buffs, and two, because Judgement is hilarious.
It basically encourages you to capriciously enforce unfair rulings that benefit your party on the battlefield. You'd be a Judge from Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced.

"No attacking with natural weapons." "Only Spells are allowed this battle." "All attacks must be done with Clubs." "Everyone must only attack targets larger than them."

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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gradenko_2000 posted:

Spheres of Power

Our next Sphere is



Enhancement

This could be very interesting as the basis for an 'ultimate blacksmith' type character. Aside from the obvious 'Blacksmith pounds his hammer, your weapons are now all enchanted, fiery, and Keen for as long as he maintains his spell', you can also have utility in that you can produce on-demand Adamantine weapons for smashing down walls, and Animate Objects has a lot of potential, from having an animate suit of armor that acts as your personal manservant, to just Animating a door and commanding it to unlock itself.

Nihilarian posted:

Enhancement seems pretty limited.

Conceptually, I like it. It's got enough good gimmicks that I'd base a character around the sphere, while still being more limited than a generic 'Do Anything' wizard. To some degree, being limited is a feature, not a bug.

Do you think we can look at the Weather sphere next, Gradenko?

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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gradenko_2000 posted:

Spheres of Power

By request, our next Sphere is:



Weather


Storm lord is a hell of a talent, and I can't see any weather-caster not beelining for that, even if they have to deal with the rounds of set-up before they can start making GBS threads lightning bolts all over the enemy.

Walking around with a bubble of Extreme Cold and passing out parkas to your teammates is interesting, since they only have to deal with the fort saves (and if you're a winter ranger type person, you can make Survival rolls to help them auto-pass the save DC). Unfortunately it doesn't work very well since enemies only have to make their first save vs. Fatigue after ten minutes in your storm and take their first freezing damage after one minute, when battles don't last that long. If it was possible to front-load those saves it would be more worth-while, but I don't see being a frost mage being very viable in this sphere.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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gradenko_2000 posted:

Spheres of Power

By random roll, our next Sphere is:


Nature

[...]

I found this particular spell school really frustrating to write through and about. So much of it is super-specific and limited for the sake of theme, and while I understand the need for it, the rules are so staid and perfunctory that by the end I could barely muster enthusiasm for the ability to summon a big gently caress-off whirlpool.

Especially when it would require you to have a fight in water anyway. The talents do seem to be able to allow you a measure of flexibility as far as generating plants and water spontaneously, but then it costs you talents and spell points just to be able to do your thing if the terrain isn't cooperative.

Maybe the next spell school will be easier to write about.


I'm also disappointed in this sphere. The effects are both specific and underwhelming, so even when you DO get to use your cool powers, It's not...actually that neat.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Kurieg posted:

Isn't that the one where the Elminster fucks all of Mystra's clergy, then is turned into a woman and fucks them all again because only lesbian sex can teach you the true meaning of magic?

:stare: What

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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MonsieurChoc posted:


Halflings
Halflings often look like human children, and as such are feared by no one and welcome in most places. Some human bards claim that halflings were created when a powerful hag tried to purify a human as an experiment, driving all the evil from his body. The experiment was a success, but the victim was reduced to half his former size, the "evil half vanishing to none-knows-where. Halflings pay this legend very little mind.
Homelands: Most halflings are nomadic, wandering from Domain to Domain in clans. They stay a few years before moving on, to experience all it has to offer before moving on. There are two permanent halfling communities, both in Darkon: the Haflings of Rivalis raise goats, produce cheese and take pride in their flower gardens, while the inhabitants of Delagia mostly subsist through fishing. For those who hate Kenders:

Recommended Feats: Courage, Dodge, Mobility, Open Mind, Skill Focus (Diplomacy, Tumble), Weapon Finesse.
Base OR: 1, like Half-Elves.

:allears: I'm totally behind this just for the excuse to play BB Hood and Darkstalkers up the place as a tiny mercenary.

Crasical fucked around with this message at 02:38 on Feb 13, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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I like how between Bill Webb and Bellum Maga, the Ravenloft review is the -least- horrifying thing in this thread right now.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Evil Mastermind posted:

The funny thing is, a lot of those bits about using terrain to make combat more interesting instead of just having the fight on an infinite flat plain is actually good GMing advice. Terrain was a huge part of 4e's combat assumptions.

But of course this jackhole has to crank that poo poo up to 11 and do it out of spite instead of a desire to make the game more fun for anyone who isn't him.

In a 4e game, I had a fight on a frozen mountain battle with a raised cliff area that required climb checks to get up-to, and wendigo-crazed Yetis as enemies that had a climb speed and didn't make checks for the frozen ground.

I don't tell stories about how it taught my players to be more thoughtful and tactical adventurers, or how I used that fight to punish cheese builds.

I tell stories about that fight because our wizard prepped a Thunderwave and waited for a yeti to complete the ascent, then blasted him out into the open air for fall damage. Or about how a clever combo between the rogue and swordmage ended up with the rogue leonidas-punting a yeti off the cliff and the swordmage warping to the yeti in midair, impaling it with their sword, and riding it all the way to the ground in one giant flying slash.

Or I tell stories about the fight in the underground malfunctioning bunker where the party had to fight some enemies inside a giant malfunctioning magical conduit where a random line of the hallway would get blasted by lightning every round, and they had to keep dancing around to try and keep formation and keep the brutes from reaching the back-lines to wreak havoc.

Terrain is super important and creating crazy setpiece battles is way more fun than just using it as an excuse to poop penalties on your players.

War Witches posted:




:stonk:

Crasical fucked around with this message at 07:02 on Feb 20, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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gradenko_2000 posted:

Kobolds with Toys

This is the author telling the reader to go ahead and practice Tucker's Kobolds against the players to keep them on their toes. The small 1 HD enemies can all have ranged weapons and will flee from any melee combat, their arrows will be poison-tipped, they will ignore the Fighters and shoot for the casters directly, they will hit-and-fade like the Viet Cong, and they will routinely lead the party into traps, bad terrain, larger monsters, killing zones, larger monsters, and gotcha encounters like skunks and rust monsters.

Tucker's Kobolds is such a pet peeve of mine just because it's been carried into Gamer Lore from the 80s and it... just largely doesn't work anymore, at least not nearly as well as it did back in AD&D.

Sure, you can have your monsters fight intelligently, prepare their lairs to counter intruders, and fight dirty, but a 4 HP kobold's ability to punch outside of it's weight class is severely limited.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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gradenko_2000 posted:

Bill Webb's Book of Dirty Tricks

As with the first idea, this mostly relies on the GM being an unreliable narrator. I think this is rather unfair to the players - at the very least you should use Perception or Insight or Investigation or Will to first determine if the character can, in-character, see through the ruse. If you make the kobolds try to give the impression of a dragon, but you tell the players that there's all the real and literal sounds and smells of a dragon out there, you're not really giving them any chance to react in a manner that'd be logical or reasonable than if they knew exactly what they were getting into.

I feel like this is perfectly in line with everything Webb has been angling at before. He's a big disbeliever in character power and a great believer in 'player skill'. He's already mentioned his great distaste for elves and dwarves and their ability to find secret doors, and how he's created his whole 'GM description hidden-door minigame' to disallow dice rolls for hidden doors.

I absolutely can believe that he'd expand that sort of behavior to perception checks, knowledge skills for monster identification, and the like. The uncharitable part of me wants to say that he does this because it's VASTLY easier to trick your players when you take away most of their mechanical tools for piercing through your deception.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Count Chocula posted:

There was a Fallout: New Vegas DLC that pulled something like this, but there was a way to game the system that kinda ruined the thematics of it. I do think a dungeon ending with a Metroid style run while everything explodes could be fun.

Moinkmaster posted:

That was Dead Money, which at least sorta spends a great deal of the DLC reminding you about how the very most important thing is "letting go" of various things, so it doesn't come entirely out of nowhere. Maybe a gigantic massive heavy pile of gold is one of those things to let go of :iiam:

...Man, I did my run-through of New Vegas as 'brute with a bumper sword', so I was able to get -most- of those gold bars and lug them all the way home because my carry capacity was ridiculous.

I never ended up selling them, either, just arranged them all pretty on my coffee table, because I couldn't find someone with enough caps/expensive items I wanted to buy that it was worth breaking them out of storage.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Barudak posted:

Based on how I'm reading this, it sounds like even worse than I was imagining in so far as it targets and cripples might or dex characters over int characters. Are there plenty of int attacks or some other mechanic to balance out that they have a larger health pool/damage buffer before they start taking hits?

Yeah, I'm with Barudak, that looks pretty drat bad insofar as 'death spirals' go.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Witch Girls Adventures has always been that specific frequency of terrible that I can't look away from it, and in fact, crave more.

I'm perversely happy to see it back in the thread again.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Doresh posted:


As the game is very big on friendship (going so far as to make "Nakama" an actually game term). Let's hear some input on example PCs and NPCs. I'll definitely be making Doki Doki Happy Witch Puncher Punch-Witch-chan, defender of Earth from the nefarious forces of LucyDark. She may or may not team-up with everyone's favorite moon-themed magical girl.

Next Time: Nakama 4 Life.

See if the system will bend enough to translate 'magical girl' into 'kamen rider'.

EDIT:
Also, if Punch-Witch-chan is our Pretty Cure 'hit things with magic kung-fu' character, then have one 'Overwhelming amounts of magical lasers' Lyrical Nanoha stand-in and one more broadly-focused Squishy Wizard Cardcaptor Sakura stand-in. Gotta hit the whole spectrum of Magical Girl.

Precure: Doki Doki Happy Witch Puncher Punch-Witch-chan
Kamen Rider: Mysterious Masked Rider Megumin
Nanoha: Rainbow Spark
Cardcaptor: Sanlossa, Emissary of Cuddlethulu

Crasical fucked around with this message at 11:39 on Mar 5, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Doresh posted:

\you can't turn a bad guy good by punching or beam-spamming him hard enough (though isn't that the basic concept of Nanoha, and sometimes Pretty Cure?). Or maybe that's just for irredeemable villains, which makes sense I guess.

Presumably this is to give the GM some wriggle room as to when/which the bad guys get Befriended, so they can milk as many stories from an antagonist as they deem fitting before they finally succumb to the beam-spam.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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The Lone Badger posted:

Reactor: online
Sensors: online
Weapons: online
All systems nominal.


Can we rename her mana stat to 'heat capacity'?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eaatgUxsNs

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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“DEATH AWAITS ANYONE WHO DARES TO DISRUPT A PRETTY CURE TRANSFORMATION.”

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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...That's an Angry Birds Summon/familiar.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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MadScientistWorking posted:

Just like Super Sentai/Power Rangers which actually ran with the joke that those goofy as all hell explosive transformation sequences are actually dangerous.

The ToQger transformation literally had a white line that the bad guys needed to stand behind or get smacked around by a train during the Henshin.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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gradenko_2000 posted:

The Book of Iron Might, by Mike Mearls

So that's the basic framework of the Maneuver system: you pick an Effect, it comes with a hefty attack roll penalty, and then you pick one or more Drawbacks to reduce the attack roll penalty down to a more manageable level.


Nifty, but the maneuvers seem...questionably useful? They're all fairly marginal except for the instant save-or-suck Blind, and that starts walking back on itself the instant it's introduced.

I suppose a beast hunter type character could get some mileage out of disabling natural weapons for shark or alligator-like enemies with a single powerful bite but no other natural weapons, or by getting the Ability Damage and knocking a beast's intelligence down to 0, but.

EDIT:

Alien Rope Burn posted:


+Daze -Total Attack of Opportunity -Effects Only -Overpowering Effort = +0 modifier


Overpowering effort prones you, so unless you can rise from prone as a swift or free action, you're taking the rest of your full attack from the mud at a substantial penalty, if you're allowed to substitute it for a normal melee attack, which some of the core maneuvers don't allow you to do.

Crasical fucked around with this message at 23:49 on Mar 17, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Hostile V posted:

Pyrokinesis: Pyrokinetic powers are, as a whole, destructive. There's a disproportionate amount of pyrokinetic's stuck in asylums for small crimes compared to other psychics and the most unruly/dangerous are often lobotomized. The game portrays pyrokinetics are impulsive, antisocial and ruled by their emotions.

Your attacks and abilities often run the risk of someone being set on fire, which add +3 to rolling on the damage table and you're on fire until it gets put out. Pyrokinesis has a big restriction and it sucks. Without the Silence ability, strong emotions or Serious wounds force Will checks on the part of the psychic where failure means they must attack the source of their frustration. Take Silence. Just take Silence. Also, a lot of your powers might result in you losing your clothes, so don't worry too much about armor and get comfy with being naked in public. Freak them Victorian squares.

You really think that Pyros would find plenty of welcome work stoking the enormous aetheric generators that power London, since their level 1 ability triples fuel efficiency. Even if they didn't, it seems like they'd still find good work on the Pyro Death Kill Squads that go in and incinerate wards of London when they fall to the zombies so that they can be rebuilt.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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:stonklol:

Each post of Bellum Maga is giving me SAN loss, I swear.

It's incredible.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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So, France continues to be black magic.

also everything in this chapter is like, ridiculously expensive. The Shadow Caster would be great to base a character around having, as a spy/creepy person/voyeur, but it's not something a character can start with or even acquire in a reasonable amount of time in play.

It's especially egregious when you have party spheres like the Spirit Lamp that are clearly novelties for the rich, but even the aristocrat is blowing half his starting cash to have one.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Alien Rope Burn posted:


Of course, the real reason was "Steve Jackson got frustrated in traffic and thought he'd really like to shoot other drivers"

Austin traffic is pretty much The Worst, so.

Crasical fucked around with this message at 05:22 on Apr 1, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Doresh posted:

I think the whole cars with guns and clones as 1-Ups part would make a bit more sense if it wasn't set in a post-apocalyptic, anarchistic wasteland were people have trouble getting enough food and fuel and not getting killed by gangs, but rather in a post-scarcity utopia where these death games exist solely because the people are just that decadent and bored.

I have Opinions about Car Wars, and yeah, part of it is that Mad Max is always brought up to explain it and it gives bad expectations. There's a regulatory body for Autodueling, and cloning, and the like, and big automotive manufacturers are churning out these cars new, they're not salvaged, armored and armed wrecks.

It's not really post-apocalpytic at all.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Uh, point of order, despite the love affair Pre-War Fallout America had with fusion power, in the actual games radiation is still deadly dangerous.
:goonsay:

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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:3:

I can't really explain why but Tanuki are one of my favorite Weird Japanese Things.

The description of the 'Carried away' flaw does kind of seem like some of the meaning wasn't carried across in localization, though.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Kurieg posted:

Up Next: Our Planet is a Lesbian, Big Whoop.

So, (With the possible exception of Monsters, which haven't been mentioned until now) none of the Minions of the Serpent are more than vanilla mortals, and have no magic stat, so they're trivially easy to frogify or teleport to a torture dimension forever.

A witch strike team seems like it has a pretty good chance of pulling off a straightforward assault on the PotUS and his entourage, an even better shot if they go for some more subtle voodoo rather than just charging in. Experienced witches can take on the US military with little issue, if the illustrations are to be believed.

If I had any optimism left I'd point out that it's an interesting dynamic that the 'enemies' present little challenge, but considering the 'insidious corruption' of the serpent, polymorphing one corrupt cop/businessman/priest doesn't actually accomplish much. Except the moral kind of falls flat when it's not a 'Giant magical sledgehammers cannot fix the underlying societal issues' because the societal issues are all the fault of an evil snake god. And I'm clearly overthinking it, the game's pretty transparently a power/revenge fantasy with fetishiistic sprinkles.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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:allears: I really love Rocket Age.

Just on Venus you have all these wonderful pulp backdrops like the Western's Mining/Company Town in the Ore Fields, the Darkest Africa unexplored jungles at the Crater for explorer types....

I hope the actual rules/role for the Rocket Ranger PCs and their gear stacks up to the worldbuilding.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Mercenaries being injected with magic snake-venom to become shapeshifting snakemen super-soldiers sounds like a good VIPER plot for the next time I run Champions though.

Also, In the original Car Wars, It really needs to be stressed how fragile characters are. You have 3 wounds, armor can give you another 3, and almost any vehicular weapon in the game can cut through that on a good roll. The game was very much a wargame and there wasn't much -point- in giving your characters nicknames or backstories, considering their frailty and the fact that just about every other arena combat was going to kill a PC.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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So, with Alien Rope Burn's GURPS Autoduel review driving off into the sunset, I wanted to chime in about Car Wars one last time.

Car Wars was the second RPG I ever played, right after DnD 2nd Edition, way back in grade school. It with the same circle of friends from DnD, who had our parents drive us in and met to play every other weekend or so.

I don't like Car Wars very much.

It might have been that it was introduced to me at just the wrong time, as a bunch of sprogs we were struggling with the math required for vehicle maneuvering, it may have been that the jump from 'cooperative storytelling' to 'competitive tactical tabletop wargame' was a big gap to jump. Could have been any number of other things.

I have issues with the setting, which feels like it wants to have its cake and eat it to, combining the postapocalyptic desert full of raiders and bandits but also the huge arena fights, suburbs, associations and vehicle factories. I have issues with starting characters being thrown into the ameteur autodueling leagues where they're likely going to get killed off and get only (an optimistic) 3k from pawning their busted-up car, the highly lethal combat when Gold Cross will run you several sessions worth of cash for a one-off resurrection...

Car Wars functions fine as a tabletop strategy game, where players get handed a car and let loose on the highway or arena, but I don't think it works as a role-playing game.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Giving a poo poo about fellow PCs in spellbound kingdom seems hella imba and I love it.

You're a Young Knight staring down a firing squad of archers in the grand cathedral? Too bad, your devotion to the Capricious Sorceress means that there's a convenient rope tied off just an arms reach away that leads to the chandelier all the archers have chosen to stand under.

Halfway across the castle, the Capricious Sorceress is fighting the dark wizard. She doesn't love the Young Knight back (And might even routinely mock and berate him when they travel together), but as long as she has SOME place in her heart, as long as she has strong emotions about him? She'll get that same plot immunity.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Evil Mastermind posted:

"Sip tea while fencing"

That's all. I just wanted to point that out.

"Skewer apple on sword, eat it while fencing".

It even gives you COMBO BONUS to your reputation if you also had some tea during the same fight.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Keiya posted:

I mostly fell in love with it because of Keychain of Creation. And I like going through the fluff parts of the books. Basically I love Exalted (setting) so much that I'm willing to overlook the problems with Exalted (game) and just play something else in the setting.

:hfive:

KoC is great and I still have it's RSS bookmarked. I don't really expect it to come back, but hey. Maybe one day...

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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It feels weird that they used the 'My place or yours?" line more than once. I mean, over the course of 25 or so soundbits two occurrences is relatively nothing, but it gives the weird feeling of Beast sidling up to the more established WoD lines at a bar and waggling it's eyebrows while saying "ey, bby"

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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Mors Rattus posted:

Slashers are refreshingly honest. They're not about to tell you that you shouldn't be mad at them for killing people.

Well some of them might, but they won't actually believe it and their 'morality lecture' is probably just a smokescreen to get you to drop your guard so they can get the knife out.

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Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

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We are talking about OWoD Changeling, right? 'cause while I never got to play in it I did read a Changeling book once and thought it was pretty interesting.

EDIT: SCA is Society for Creative Anachronism. Sword-fighting ren-faire folks, I think.

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